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still from the teaser for Stuntkont.

The best shit show in years comes from Rotterdam

Het schijnt dat er bij de inspeelvoorstellingen van Maas Theater&Dans’ nieuwste, ‘Stuntkont’, al een paar scholen geklaagd hebben. Er liepen zelfs klassen weg. Logisch misschien, tenminste voor volwassen schoolleiders die niet tegen poep-en-piesgrappen kunnen. Kinderen van 6 tot 106 kunnen er alleen maar heel hard om lachen.  Poep-en-piesgrappen blijken dus leuker dan ik zelf had verwacht. Als ze tenminste gemaakt… 

Sensitive and scintillating: Sholeh Rezazadeh's beautiful new novel is one not to forget

After her acclaimed and award-winning debut novel The sky is always purple, Sholeh Rezazadeh impresses again with her second book. I Know a Mountain Waiting for Me is a tender, delicately sensitive and sumptuous novel. Stunningly sensitive It is hard to believe that Iranian-born writer and poet Sholeh Rezazadeh (1989) has only lived in the Netherlands since 2015. Her command of language and manner of... 

Turbulent Greek history. 'Niki' by Christos Chomenidis is a captivating family chronicle

In his award-winning novel Niki, Greek writer Christos Chomenidis tells the turbulent story of his mother and her family. But above all, he tells the reader about 30 years of troubled Greek history.Family chronicle With the captivating family chronicle Niki, awarded the Prix du Livre Européen two years ago, Greek writer Christos Chomenidis (1966) tells two histories: that of his mother Niki and... 

The dark backrooms of the mind. Masterfully Philippe Claudel dissects human behaviour in his new novel 'Twilight'

In his new novel Twilight, Philippe Claudel dissects man's dark motives as usual. French author Philippe Claudel does not have an overly cheerful view of man, as his compellingly told novels show. Twilight is the latest shoot on the impressive tree of his oeuvre, and fits in seamlessly. As he did in previous novels such as Grey Souls (2003), The Report of Brodeck (2007)... 

Writer Federico Falco

Digging in the earth to dispel grief. The Plains is a beautiful, wistful novel by Federico Falco

In The Plains by Argentine writer Federico Falco, a writer returns to life in the country after breaking up with his lover. This makes for a beautiful, wistful novel about grief, origins and the nature of life itself. 'No single word tames grief. No word dispels it. No word can truly express it.' Those thoughts... 

Afterword in TR8 foyer. Flnr: Brecht de Backer, Samuel D. Hunter and Erik Whien. photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Samuel D. Hunter's Proof of God at Theatre Rotterdam: "Since I'm a father, I have to be hopeful, I can't be cynical anymore."

"In America, when you put two guys on stage, the audience expects them to beat each other up, or fuck each other. In this play, neither happens, but in the theatre it's almost always about two men fighting or fucking." Legendary words from Samuel D. Hunter. He wrote the play 'A Case for the Existence... 

scene photo by Sanne Peper

Reinout Bussemaker is the dream JP in Aluin's 'This is ours'

You must be a white man of a certain age. Some of us are so fed up with being blamed for everything that they voted PVV or worse in the last elections out of sheer desperation. That is why it is good that playwright Erik Snel, himself a white man of a certain age, has written a play about the archetype of the Dutch... 

pr image The Christmas Dinner by Wilmink Theatre

In Enschede, I realised again how important own actors are for a city theatre

It is one of my worst guilty pleasures. Egg salad from the better-filled mayonnaise manufacturer from Twente, with a close second to their tuna salad. I can't get enough of those. And now let them have both of those on the table at Het Kerstdiner in Theater Kleine Willem in Enschede. Chic is different, but in the... 

cover I Say Sorry Anyway

'I say sorry' is now a book. Go read it, together. 

"Listening, not always understanding, but trying to go along with (the black) voices ensured that, in my opinion, there was a beautiful text at the heart of the performance Ik zeg toch sorry." If a short preface to a play has as much meaning as this quote by Raymi Sambo, the text itself must offer much more.... 

pr image Closed Eyes

With Closed Eyes, Alida Dors unleashes a revolution

I used the word 'revolutionary' when a camera crew from Theatre Rotterdam asked me what I thought of Closed Eyes. I don't know if my otherwise extraordinarily enthusiastic response will make it to the final edit, but a day later, that feeling is not gone. What Alida Dors, artistic director of Theatre Rotterdam, has shown is a revolution in the world of... 

scene photo rhapsody © Kurt Van der Elst,

Josse de Pauw and Asko|Schönberg bring heaven a little closer

It was 2000 and Wim Kayzer, of the VPRO, brought a series of television evenings that went against everything commercial. It was called 'Of Beauty and Consolation' and featured evening-long interviews with people like Jane Goodall, J.M. Coetzee, Karel Appel and George Steiner. Intellectuals, artists, thinkers. On 23 November 2023, the day after 22/11, when the Netherlands held an open... 

Luna Quartet and Vincent van Amsterdam

In Den Bosch this Sunday, I heard light breaking

At half past eleven on a Sunday morning, it might be a bit much: Maya Fridman, improvising on her cello. Watching her play, together with pianist Maarten van Veen, is an intense experience. She becomes one with her instrument, it overwhelms her, it is almost too intimate to watch. But what warmth waves through the audience.... 

Scene image by Rogier Boogaard

Frank Masmeijer won't regret Nottrots Holiday Show

Whether it could be a little less superficial was the question from an audience member halfway through the first part of The Utility's Great Holiday Show. Greg Nottrot, in the role of quizmaster of this pastiche on the great 1980s television show, promises there will be another layer. Because he is obliged to, since he gets subsidy. Welcome... 

Scene image by Bowie Verschuuren

Sex performance HNTJong highlights insecurity

Tobogganing teenagers. If you don't have them at home, you read and hear about them in the media. The phone provides them with thousands of impressions a day, but the constant in history remained: for Generation Z, little attracts attention as much as sex. Or Sex? This language question begins the performance by HNTjong, the youth company of Het Nationale Toneel in Den... 

Funnel Vision by Company Alud. Photo Wijbrand Schaap

Circolo 2023: how I fell in love with an ostrich in 1 day.

Ostriches, as droll as they are graceful, disappearing into man-sized reeds at dusk. I saw the sculpture yesterday in Tilburg's Spoorpark, where Circus Festival Circolo has settled again this year. As simple as poignancy can be, you can make your own story out of what good performers present to you. The nine handstand specialists of Collectif d'équilibristes showed me in Le Complexe de... 

The empty modern life of two digital nomads

Living and working in a metropolis as a digital nomad or creative professional, on a terrace with your laptop and a latte macchiato. A dream for many people, doing well on social media. Around that fact revolves The Perfections, the short novel with which Vincenzo Latronico made the longlist of the Premio Strega, the most important Italian literary prize. The... 

Jilles Flinterman, photo by Sanne Peper

Boudica survived 2,000 years of male historiography. She has now become fascinating theatre. 

The overhead projector. What a beautiful tool in the hands of an artist. There will probably also be someone who does something unexpected with a digital whiteboard, but it cannot be as inventive as what Jilles Flinterman does in ´Boudica'. The play, created under the wings of Utrecht-based theatre group Aluin, tells of a woman who has a statue in England,... 

Great little novel 'Malacqua' more topical than ever after 50 years

Extreme weather - the novel Malacqua, about how the city of Naples is ravaged for days by heavy rainfall, is more topical than ever not only because of its subject matter. The book may date from 1977, but Nicola Pugliese's tantalising and unusual writing style, also thanks to Annemart Pilon's excellent translation, is still surprising, fresh and modern today. Quirky author The... 

Moving story about the marginalised existence of Argentine 'transvestis'

In False Bitches, Camila Sosa Villada grants the reader an intimate and moving glimpse into the colourful, but also harsh and lonely existence of (Argentine) transsexuals. And thus holds a merciless mirror up to the intolerant, judgmental society. A 'party' 'Being a transvesti is a party' was the motto of Angie, one of Camila Sosa Villada's transgender friends. An incantation... 

Powerful and moving novel about the price of freedom by Najat el Hachmi

Raw and moving is Catelan-Moroccan writer Najat el Hachmi's new novel, Monday We Will Be Loved. An impressive story about the meaning of true freedom, and the price you have to pay for it. 'Monday, Monday, Monday... Monday we will be different. Monday we will be loved.' Every week, young woman Naïma tries to... 

Follow Van Gogh's footsteps in Drenthe.

On 11 September 1883, Vincent van Gogh disembarked at Hoogeveen train station. Away from The Hague's urbanisation and back to nature. The painter spends months in the area around Hoogeveen, Nieuw-Amsterdam/Veenoord and goes to Zweeloo for a day. He uses his period in Drenthe to unwind and experiment with themes, colours and... 

cover Friesland My Love by Oeds Westerhof.

One region, one love: Oeds Westerhof's political declaration of love

In Zutphen, I attended Jeroen den Herder's congenial small-scale cello festival. There, two young Portuguese students gave a lecture/recital on their research project on the music of the fado singer and composer José Zeca Afonso, an important voice in the 1974 Portuguese Revolution. At home, I looked up that music. It turned out to be the perfect background when reading "Friesland, my... 

Floris Kortie on Podium Klassiek's new webpage

Floris Kortie deserves every support in his Podium Klassiek solo.

On Sunday 10 September, Podium Klassiek opened the season in a very stripped-down version. Floris Kortie was all alone. In the world of public broadcasting and classical music, where things are usually fixed three years in advance, something was up. I felt an end approaching. Podium Witteman had become a fixture here at home.... 

Gaudi at Fabrique de lumiere. Screenshot cut-out broadcast WNL

Broadcaster Wakker Nederland on art: make a damned effort yourself. 

'While many regional museums are struggling, commercial museums are popping up like mushrooms.' Omroep Wakker Nederland, since we associate 'awake' with 'woke', preferring to be known as broadcaster 'we' the Netherlands, had to do something with 'art'. The opening lines of the first broadcast of 'de Stand van Nederland', their 'research programme', were an instant hit, so were the images: the museum association in the ball pit of a... 

In #Zomergasten 2023#6, Alida Dors asked the best questions. 

In #Zomergasten 2023#6 guest, Alida Dors, asked the best questions. 

The counter stood at 8 minutes and 45 seconds when it went wrong. Pretty fast for a three-hour interview programme like Zomergasten, but Theo Maassen grabbed the record with verve. His guest Alida Dors, the woman who, as a self-taught dancer, grew into a forewoman of Dutch hip-hop culture, and who is now tasked with managing the mismanaged... 

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